About Us


The Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha Foundation is the trusted source for donors to create a transformational legacy and a strong financial foundation for perpetual Gospel proclamation.


The mission of the Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha Foundation is the same as that of the school: "At Concordia, students are faith secure... world ready... kingdom leaders!" We strive to prepare young people for lives of faith, service, and leadership as Christian disciples.


The Concordia Foundation strives to be donor-centered in a spirit of gratitude and service, committed to helping donors find joy in their generosity as they seek to fulfill their transformational legacy. The Foundation seeks to manage the relationship of Concordia supporters with integrity, accountability, and transparency.


The purpose of the Foundation is to financially support Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha. The Foundation fulfills its purpose by investing and managing donated gifts so that the school can continue to expand its mission. Distributions from the endowment are made in accordance with the donors wishes; or if no directions are provided by the donor, the Board of Directors of Concordia allocates the money to student scholarships, general school sustainability, and/or facilities.

Endowment Giving

Make a lasting impact!

At Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha, making an endowed gift is one of the most powerful ways to have a lasting impact. Endowment gifts support students, faculty, and programs, driving progress for centuries to come.

What is an endowment gift?

An endowment gift is a donation that is given with the intent to preserve the original value of the gift, and to grow it over time as part of a larger endowment fund.

What is an endowment gift’s lasting impact?

Endowed gifts provide a stable income stream to ensure Concordia’s continued excellence to ensure our students are “Faith Secure, World Ready, Kingdom Leaders.” These gifts help Concordia do what we have done for more than 20 years-but better and with more impact. Countless students benefit from endowed scholarships-enabling them to come to Concordia and later make an impact in the Church and World.

Every endowment gift can have a lasting and growing effect on Concordia. For example, in 2000, a gift of $100,000 to establish an endowed fund for financial aid would have a value of over $200,000 today. The annual distribution from the gift would have been approximately $5,000 in 2000 and would have grown to $10,000 by 2020. This gift’s impact would continue to grow and achieve the donor’s vision for increasing access to a Concordia education.

Who manages Concordia’s endowment?

The Concordia School Board of Directors created a Foundation with its own Board of Directors. This Board created an Investment Committee which engages independent investment advisors and appoints committee members, who are experienced in asset management, to manage the assets of the endowment.

How is Concordia’s endowment doing?

Due to the generosity of donors and strategic investment management, the endowment continues to grow. The total value of Concordia’s endowment as of December 31, 2022 was $3.0 million. Concordia produced an average annual return of 15.5% on its endowment portfolio for the last three years.

What Is an Endowment Fund?

An endowment fund is generally comprised of money or assets donated to an institution which uses the resulting investment income for a specific purpose such as school operations, sustainability, and student scholarships. Endowments are designed to keep the principal amount intact while using the investment income for needs of the institution.

Tuition covers only about 65% of the school's operating costs. Endowment gifts help bridge the gap needed to educate each student.

For more information, please contact Rob Cooksey

Foundation Giving

Trusted stewardship of your gifts

The Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha Foundation (Concordia), which was established to accept endowment gifts and works in partnership with the School Board of Directors and Administration. This partnership is tasked to ensure that no potential student is turned away because a family is unable to pay tuition.

The Concordia Foundation was founded in the year 2002 and re-energized in 2015 to provide financial support and stability for the Gospel proclamation activities of Concordia today and into the future.

Your gift(s) may be given in several ways. For example, cash will make an impact today, pledges will make an impact tomorrow, and endowment gifts will make an impact forever, with earnings on endowment assets of the Foundation sent to the school annually. However you choose to make your contribution(s), all gifts will serve to help a student graduate.

How does the Concordia Endowment grow?

The answer is through your gifts and applying sound investment practices to the stewardship of your gifts. The Concordia School Board of Directors has created a Foundation with its own separate Board of Directors from the school. The foundation Board then has established an Investment Committee focused on applying sound investment practices to the stewardship of your gifts. An Investment Policy Statement is then adopted by the Board, and individuals-experienced in asset management-are appointed to the committee. The committee then engages independent investment advisors to assist the committee in investing the endowment funds.

What is Concordia’s policy for ensuring good stewardship of endowment funds?

The Foundation Board of Directors has adopted an Investment Policy Statement that includes the following:

  1. Creation of an investment committee to provide direct oversight of the endowment fund assets management and the quarterly reporting of such activity to the Board of Directors.
  2. A diversified asset allocation of 60% equity/40% fixed income.
  3. A spending policy of up to 5% per year of the beginning-of-year fund corpus.
  4. Engagement of an investment advisor who invests the assets in accordance with the policy.

As depicted in the charts, the Lord has blessed Concordia, through an endowment fund of $3.0 million as of December 31, 2021, and a solid investment performance as compared to the benchmark. The benchmark is provided by Morningstar on a 60% equity/40% fixed income allocation of market performance of the assets allocated in the same manner as Concordia’s asset allocation.

Since 2016, the Foundation has added $1,503,000 to the endowment through investment performance and distributed $605,000 to the school. New gifts since 2016 amounted to $1,250,000.

What Is a Foundation?

A private foundation, such as the one Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha has established, is a nonprofit organization that typically provides funding and support through donations from individuals and/or entities. A board of directors oversees the assets, primary endowment gifts and is responsible for receiving charitable gifts, managing and investing assets, filing tax returns, and handling other administrative reporting requirements.

Board of Directors

Lee J. Handke

Gail Hawkins

A. William "Bill" Kernen

Brandon Newhouse

Lloyd Probasco

Gaye Lynn Schaffart

Sabrina Weiss

Leadership Team

Rob Cooksey

CLSO Head of Schools CLSO Foundation President and Interim Director of Advancement

Aaron Sailer

CLSO Director of Finance CLSO Foundation Secretary/Treasurer

Dear Friends of Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha,

The purpose of the Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha Foundation, Inc. (The Foundation) is to support Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha.

The Foundation fulfills its purpose by investing and managing donated funds. Distributions from these funds are allocated to student scholarships, general school sustainability, and capital expenditures.

The school awards general tuition scholarships based upon a family’s qualified financial need. Increasing the dollars available for scholarships will help to put a quality, Christian education within the reach of more families, and it will extend the Concordia mission to serve a more economically diverse population. The Foundation aspires to provide tuition support for ALL qualified need. Thus, the current priority of The Foundation is to increase its general endowment to support scholarships and mission advancement.

All gifts made to the Foundation online, via a website, will be directed to the general Foundation endowment. However, the Foundation does accept other gifts for special purposes, such as awards for excellence in teaching and capital improvements. Such purposes must be designated by the donor and in compliance with The Foundation’s gift acceptance policy.

Please contact the Director of Advancement, at 402-445-4000 for more information on supporting the Foundation through your gifts.

Robert Cooksey
CLSO Foundation President

About Lee J. Handke

Lee Handke is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nebraska Health Network, an accountable care organization formed as a partnership between Methodist Health System, Nebraska Medicine and their affiliated physicians. Handke is responsible for implementing the strategy to achieve the NHN’s mission of leading the transformation of health in the region by developing partnerships that deliver patient-centered, high value care.

Previously, Handke was the senior vice president, health network services for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska. There he was responsible for hospital, professional and pharmacy network strategy, product development and healthcare delivery and wellness programs.

Handke received a Bachelor of Life Science from Kansas State University in 1993. In 1999, he graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Pharmacy with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

Handke is a registered pharmacist and adjunct faculty member at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Pharmacy, where he serves on the admissions committee. He serves on the board of directors for the Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha, Nebraska Methodist College and is Board President for Omaha’s Lauritzen Gardens. In 2006, Handke was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Omahans by the Omaha Jaycees, and in 2009 was awarded the Early Career Achievement Award by the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is a graduate of Leadership Omaha Class 30 and the Institute for Career Advancement Need’s FOCUS program for executive leadership. He lives in Omaha with his wife Jennifer and sons Peter and Zachary.

Mr. Handke is on the Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha School Board and also serves on the Foundation Board.

About Gail Hawkins

Ms. Hawkins, Senior Vice-President at Tetrad Corporation, has responsibilities for asset management of real estate investments, treasury and cash management functions, risk management, and forecasting. She previously worked for a bank holding company (3 years) and a national accounting firm (10 years).

Ms. Hawkins serves on the Concordia University Board of Regents and has served on the Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha Board of Directors.

She is a member of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church.

About Bill Kernen

Mr. Kernen, who currently serves as the Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha Foundation Chairman of the Board, retired as CFO and Senior Vice President from the Omaha World Herald Company in 2004. That same year, Mr. Kernen and his late wife Leona established Kernen Partners, LLC to manage family assets.

Mr. Kernen is a past Board member of the Omaha World Herald Company (1985-2011) and Election Systems and Software, Inc (1987-2011). He currently serves on the Boards of Kernen Partners, Kernen Capital, and Kernen Education 2.0.

His volunteer Board service includes Concordia University-NE, United Way of the Midlands, Wheat Ridge Ministries, Chicago, IL, SCOLBE (Service Corp of Lutheran Business Executives), and LCMS Foundation-St Louis, MO.

Kernen currently serves on the Community Boards of Grace Point Institute for Relational Health, Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha Foundation, and Lutheran Family Services Foundation. Mr. Kernen is a member of Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church.

About Brandon Newhouse

Mr. Newhouse (’13) is the first alumni to serve on the Foundation Board. Brandon is an Omaha native and started attending Concordia as an 8th grader where he fell in love with the smaller class-sizes, Christ-centered education and the intentional community present at Concordia.

Brandon is a graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in Business and Economics. He currently works for Molycop, an international mining manufacturer, as a Senior Treasury Analyst. As the President of the Wheaton Student Managed Investment Fund, he gained experience in planning and executing events, organizational structure and leadership.

Mr. Newhouse looks forward to connecting with other alumni and engaging them in future support of the school and its mission.

About Lloyd Probasco

Mr. Probasco, Executive Director of the Dunklau Foundation, has had a career that has enabled him to experience opportunities in finance, gift planning, capital campaigns, strategic planning, endowment building and administration. During his over 20-year career with the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod Foundation, Mr. Probasco served as a Gift Planning Counselor, Regional Vice President for the Heartland Region and Senior Vice President overseeing the Foundation’s relationship with all of the Synod’s Colleges, Seminaries, and RSO’s. He has also provided leadership to hundreds of Christian organizations (including many congregations) in the development of Endowment Funds and Foundations.

As a volunteer, Mr. Probasco has served or now serves on the Board of Directors for Concordia University, Nebraska; Board of Regents at Concordia College, Alabama; Lutheran Hour Ministry Foundation Board; Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha Foundation Board; and Heartland Lutheran High School Foundation Board.

Lloyd and his wife Ruth are members of Christ Lutheran Church in Lincoln.

About Gaye Lynn Schaffart

Ms. Schaffart is Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Tenaska Marketing Ventures (TMV), an affiliate of Tenaska, Inc. Ms. Schaffart is responsible for long term strategy, business development, and other special projects for the company.

Ms. Schaffart graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration. Ms. Schaffart also holds both C.P.A. and C.M.A. certifications.

Board service includes CLSO School Board and Foundation Board, Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska Foundation and Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. Ms. Schaffart is a member of Divine Shepherd Church.

About Dan Vehle

Mr. Vehle is currently the Endovascular Territory Sales Manager at W.L. Gore and Associates, and has 43 years of experience in medical sales, including previous positions at Burroughs Wellcome Co., Picker International, Cordis Corporation, Perclose INC/ Abbott Laboratories, and LuMend.

Mr. Vehle served a five-year term on the Board of Directors for Prairie Pointe Subdivision, and served as a Board member for Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha for a total of seven years. During that time, he served one year as VP, and two years as President of the Board.

Vehle is a graduate of the University of South Dakota, and is a 20+ year member of King of Kings Lutheran Church.

About Sabrina Weiss

Ms. Weiss has over 20 years of fundraising experience and currently serves as the Vice President of Development for Omaha Performing Arts. Ms. Weiss is responsible for the planning and implementation of all fundraising programs including major gifts and gift planning, endowment, capital campaigns, annual fund, corporate and foundation funding, public funding and government relations, volunteer events and donor stewardship for Omaha Performing Arts and the OPAS Foundation.

Ms. Weiss holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a bachelor’s degree in nonprofit arts management from Oklahoma City University. She also received the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation from the American College of Financial Services.

Ms. Weiss serves as the Vice Chair of the board for the American Cancer Society of Omaha and is on the Curriculum Content Committee for the Omaha CAP program. She is a member of Rejoice Lutheran Church.

About Rob Cooksey

Mr. Cooksey is the Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha Foundation President and has served as the Head of Schools at Concordia since 2013. Prior to that he was the Executive Director at Christ Community Lutheran School in St. Louis, Missouri for 11 years. Mr. Cooksey has also led schools in Texas, Colorado, and South Dakota.

Cooksey serves as a Board member for North Valley Christian Academy in Phoenix, Arizona and is a past member of the Board of Regents at Concordia University-Nebraska and the Lutheran Education Association.

Rob and his wife, Dawn are members at GraceHill Church.

About Aaron Sailer

Mr. Sailer is the Director of Finance for Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha and the Foundation Secretary/Treasurer since June 2016. He previously taught undergraduate accounting courses at Concordia University Nebraska, and worked in public accounting.

Mr. Sailer attends and is the congregation Treasurer for Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Elkhorn.

He is married to Lisa, a first-grade teacher in the Elkhorn Public Schools district.

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

  1. To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  2. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
  3. To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
  4. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  5. To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition.
  6. To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  7. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  8. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
  9. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
  10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

DEVELOPED BY: American Association of Fund Raising Counsel (AAFRC), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), ENDORSED BY: ALDE, 1994

About Del Toebben

Mr. Toebben, now retired, is the previous Owner and Operator of a Graphic Arts business. Toebben provided active leadership for the LCMS Nebraska District by serving on several standing and special committees. He also chaired or served on several not-for-profit corporation boards and committees.

Mr. Toebben was a charter member of two Omaha area Lutheran churches and served in every elected office of his church, including Chairman of the Congregation and Chairman of the Board of Elder-two times each.

Mr. Toebben has served as a Charter member of SCOLBE , as well as a member of the SCOLBE Board of Directors. He currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of Rupert Dunklau Foundation. Mr. Toebben is a member of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church.